It’s Joe Girard’s world right now. We’re just living in it.
The junior ended last season strong, notching 12 points in each of Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament games. For the first two years, Girard was only as productive as his shooting ability. Now, his shooting is actually icing on the cake. Before the season began, Jim Boeheim and Joe Girard made it clear. Girard was going to be more of a true pass-first point guard going forward. He hadn’t played point guard until getting to the Hill. Now that he’s been here, it’s time to facilitate.
Girard has 12 assists in two games to start the year. He’s fulfilling his promise of passing, but maybe not passing first. The Glens Falls native is a perfect 8-8 from beyond the arc, which is a program record to start the year. So just as Syracuse fans wanted to know how long his shooting drought last season would end, now the question is how long this shooting surge will last.
Typically a shooter is only as good as his fellow shooters. Cole Swider, Jimmy Boeheim, and Buddy Boeheim are keeping defenses honest. That’s not to say Girard is being left alone, but he can afford to be more selective with his three-pointers now that his periphery as the point guard is surrounded by snipers.
Gone are the days when Girard would huck up an off-balance shot from beyond the arc with the shot-clock winding down. Now the Orange are reaping the benefits of Girard setting his feat and only taking shots that flow organically in the offense.
That being said, no shooting streak lasts forever. Once the wingspans get longer on the perimeter, maybe the threes start to dry up for Girard. That could happen sooner rather than later. Colgate is the next opponent for Syracuse on Saturday. The Raiders allowed only about 26% of their opponents three-pointers all of last season.